Sausages and Grapes Make an Unlikely Pair in This Peak-Fall Dinner

By Sheela Prakash, TheKitchn.com
Sheela Prakash, TheKitchn.com
Sheela Prakash, TheKitchn.com
Sheela Prakash is a senior contributing food editor at TheKitchn.com, a nationally known blog for people who love food and home cooking. Submit any comments or questions to editorial@thekitchn.com. Copyright 2021 Apartment Therapy. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC
November 23, 2021 Updated: November 23, 2021

One of my favorite memories of living within a stone’s throw of New York City’s Union Square Greenmarket was the vendor who arrived every fall to sell a variety of sweet local grapes. They were a far cry from the bags of green and red grapes sold year-round at the grocery store. Their deep, almost floral fragrance filled the air, and they were so sweet that bees swarmed the stall.

This simple sheet pan dinner is a celebration of those grapes I anticipated each fall. These days, grocery store grapes are usually my only option, but that’s hardly a problem here because roasting them draws out and caramelizes their juices. Pair them with savory Italian sausage links, thinly sliced shallots, and rosemary, and the results are a surprisingly savory, sweet, juicy, and warming dinner that’s perfect for these chilly nights.

Grapes and sausages might seem like an unlikely match, but they’re proof that opposites attract. Italian sausage is rich with garlic and spices like fennel seeds and red pepper flakes, while red grapes are honeyed and floral. As they mingle and roast on the sheet pan, they create a bold pan sauce that’s made even more flavorful with the addition of caramelized shallots and earthy rosemary.

This is a dinner that’s begging for crusty bread on the side to sop all that warm sauce. Or if you have a little more time to spare, whip up a batch of creamy polenta and use it as a bed to spoon servings over and catch every last bit of juice.

Epoch Times Photo
Sweet meets savory in this fast and fancy sheet pan dinner. (Joe Lingeman/TNS)

Sheet Pan Roasted Sausages and Grapes

Serves 4 to 6

  • 1 1/2 pounds seedless red grapes (about 3 1/2 cups)
  • 3 medium shallots
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds uncooked hot or sweet Italian sausage links (6 to 8 links)
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Remove the stems from the grapes and place the grapes on a rimmed baking sheet.

Prepare the following, adding the ingredients to the baking sheet as you go: Thinly slice the shallots (1 heaping cup), and strip the leaves from the rosemary sprigs and coarsely chop (1 tablespoon).

Drizzle everything on the baking sheet with the olive oil; sprinkle with the fennel seeds, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper; and toss to coat. Spread out in an even layer.

Prick the Italian sausage links all over with a fork and nestle them among the grape mixture. Roast, flipping the sausages and tossing the grape mixture halfway through, until the sausages are browned and cooked through and the grapes have blistered and burst, 25 to 28 minutes.

Drizzle the balsamic vinegar over the sausages and grapes, toss to coat, and serve.

Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to three days.

Sheela Prakash is a senior contributing food editor at TheKitchn.com, a nationally known blog for people who love food and home cooking. Submit any comments or questions to editorial@thekitchn.com. Copyright 2021 Apartment Therapy. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC